Prominent award-winning Egyptian-French actor Gamil Ratib took his last breath Wednesday morning at the age of 91, according to his agent Hany EL-Tohamy. Ratib’s funeral was held at Al-Azhar Mosque.
For over 60 years, Ratib enriched the local and international drama scene with an abundance of films and series. He was honoured several times in international festivals, the latest of which was the award he received in the seventh edition of the Luxor African Film Festival in March.
Minister of Culture Inas Abdel Dayem mourned the loss of the veteran actor, stating that he is one of the remarkable icons in the history of Egyptian drama.
She explained that the innovators of the golden era are like a carcanet which is losing its treasured diamonds one after another.
“He might be physically gone, but he will always be alive through his work which is carved in the history of art,” she added.
For its side, The French Embassy in Cairo lamented Ratib’s death, stating that he built bridges between the two nations.
“Gamil Ratib, the great Franco-Egyptian actor whose career, on both sides of the Mediterranean, symbolises alone the close relationship between France and Egypt, has passed away today. In the theatre and in the cinema, in Egypt, in France, but also internationally, his charisma made him forever unforgettable,” the statement read.
Ratib was born in 1926. He studied French theatre in France before returning to Egypt and starting his career in Egyptian cinema. He took part in some of Egypt’s most significant films including “Hob Fel Zenzana” (Love Inside A Prison Cell), and Tuyur Al-Zalam (Birds of the Darkness). He registered his print with his unforgettable participation and performance in Egyptian series such as Zizenia and “Wagh Al-Qamar” (The Moon Face) with the late actress Faten Hamama.
He also played roles in the international cinema arena through his participation in Lawrence of Arabia, and the spy-fi genre movie, Shadow of Evil.